Healthy and safe workplaces for all generations
Published: 27 April 2018 - Sarah Mead
British Safety Council demonstrates its commitment to the World Day for Safety and Health at Work campaign.
On the eve of the World Day for Health and Safety at Work, the British Safety Council re-affirmed its role as a champion of workplace health and safety around the world for all generations of workers.
Celebrated annually on 28 April and led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Day for Safety and Health at Work seeks to raise public awareness of the importance of health and safety at work, as well as the prevention of occupational accidents. In 2018, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work joined forces with the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) in a campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.
The campaign aims to accelerate action to achieve two ILO Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets: that of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030 and ending all forms of child labour by 2025.
The world’s 541 million young workers (15-24 years old), which include 37 million children in hazardous child labour, account for more than 15% of the global labour force. They suffer up to a 40% higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers aged 25 or over.
“These statistics reflect the importance and urgency of efforts aimed at eliminating all forms of child labour across the world and promoting a culture of effective occupational health and safety,” said Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council. “Over the last 40 years, since the enactment of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the UK has witnessed immense improvements in workplace safety and prevention of injuries. Unfortunately, in some counties, the youngest and most vulnerable workers are not aware of work-related hazards and are unable to refuse dangerous jobs in poor working conditions.
“Working with its members in over 60 countries, the British Safety Council, have been communicating with young people – from school age to the workplace – to raise their awareness of risks at work. Our campaign Speak Up, Stay Safe, which has been running since 2010, aims to help young people to became confident communicators in relation to health and safety. It provides them with tools and advice to avoid getting hurt or ill in the workplace. This campaign is an example of our efforts to ensure that young workers around the world are not employed in conditions hazardous to their safety and long-term wellbeing.”
28 April is also a day when union members and campaigners celebrate Workers’ Memorial Day to commemorate those killed, maimed, injured and made ill by work. They renew a pledge to fight for the living, by raising safety concerns in the workplace and public awareness of the importance of health and safety. This year’s theme is ‘Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces’. It will focus on the difference that unions make in preventing deaths in the workplace. It will also be celebrating 40 years of union health and safety representatives.